Your mother always told you to mind your posture. Your mother was on to something.
A study that was published in 2014 which studied the effects of poor posture has some interesting results. Among them are as follows.
Increasing the angle at which you hold your head, increases the forces placed on the cervical and upper thoracic spine. A typical head weighs about 13 pounds but when this 13 pound head is held at a 60 degree angle (about the angle that you might hold your head at when looking at your cell phone), your head exerts 60 pounds of force on the structures of your spine. That’s a 4 fold increase in the force your upper spine must endure.
Loss of the natural curve in the spine leads to increased stresses placed on the spine which can lead to early wear and tear arthritis, and ultimately the need for surgery.
Good posture is defined as ears lined over your shoulders and shoulders retracted or pulled back. Maintaining proper alignment decreases the stress on the spine.
So far this is fairly well understood stuff and is not mind boggling in any way but this next point is pretty earth shattering. It turns out that good posture is related to an improved hormone profile.
Good posture was linked to higher testosterone, higher serotonin and decreased cortisol. This means that you can improve your mood (serotonin), build muscle (testosterone) and have less stress (cortisol) simply by improving your posture.
Chiropractors have known for a long time that spinal health is of central importance for your health in general. This research article just supports that idea.
So if you want to be happy, relaxed and built like the Incredible Hulk (or Wonder Woman) . . . mind your mother . . . Pull those shoulders back and sit up straight.
Stay well-adjusted friends!